Illuminations XXXIII: Mouvement. Written somewhere between 1873 and 1875 by Arthur Rimbaud
The movement of lace at the brink of the weir,
The gulf at the stern,
The swiftness of slope,
The vast sway of the current
Draw the voyager through extraordinary lights
And chemical change
Surrounded by waters of the vale
And the strom.
These are the conquerors of the world
Seeking their personal chemical fortunes;
Amusement and comfort travel with them;
They carry the education
Of races, classes and creatures, on this vessel
Repose and vertigo
In the diluvial light,
In terrible nights of study.
For from the conversation among the equipment, the blood, the flowers, the fire, the gems,
The anxious calculations on the fleeing deck,
– One sees, rolling by like a dyke beyond the hydraulically-powered road,
Monstrous, illuminating endlessly – their store of studies;
Driven themselves into harmonious ecstasy,
And the heroism of discovery.
Among the most surprising atmospheric events,
A young couple hold aloof on the ark,
– Is it a pardonable primitive shyness? –
And sing and mount guard.